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Egypt’s revolution one year on – the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak was just the start

Citation: Simic, Sasha (2012) Egypt’s revolution one year on – the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak was just the start. Commonwealth Opinion . pp. 1-12.

In this Opinion, Sasha Simic, a long-standing democracy activist and trade unionist, argues that Egypt’s revolution of the 25 January 2011 was a response to years of neo-liberalism which have made a tiny elite there obscenely wealthy but which have impoverished the vast majority of its 85mn-strong population. The Egyptian masses, he argues, have achieved miracles in toppling Mubarak’s brutal dictatorship – a tyranny to which Western powers gave massive financial and military aid for 30 years – but the struggle cannot stop with Mubarak’s removal. The future of the revolution is now being contested between various forces. The current leadership of Egypt – the military rulers of Scaf (the Supreme Council of Armed Forces) – wants Egypt to continue on its neo-liberal path. For these leaders, the revolution is ‘over’. They want ‘Mubarakism without Mubarak’ and are increasingly prepared to use lethal force to maintain ‘order’. But the masses on the streets and in the factories and the fields want what free-market dogma has denied them – bread, work, land and a future worth living. The current world crisis has already discredited neo-liberalism in the eyes of many millions who are searching for a better way to live. The outcome of the Egyptian revolution will have world-changing implications. If the masses can build an Egypt which starts from the needs of the people rather than the requirements of the ‘market’ they will be mapping out a path millions of others will follow. Simic argues that the key to the outcome of the revolution rests with Egypt’s enormous working class. The argument at the heart of his Opinion is simple: another world is both possible and necessary. A victorious Egyptian revolution could lay the foundations for that world.

Creators: Simic, Sasha and
Subjects: Human Rights & Development Studies
Divisions: Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Collections: Commonwealth Opinion Series
  • 2012 (published)


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